An electric scooter hire company have been announced as the dinner sponsor for the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) Summit 2018, being held in Bristol, UK, this autumn (21 to 23 October).

California-based scooter-sharing start-up, Bird, which hires out urban, electric scooters via a smartphone app and has recently launched in Europe, will sponsor the international summit for mayors from around the world.

Further sponsorship opportunities are available for businesses and organisations who wish to share their views on solutions to the challenges which cities and the rest of the world face, whilst also showing support for empowered city leadership and liaising with many influential city leaders.

Nearly 80 mayors from across Africa, Asia, Europe and the USA have already registered to attend the summit which runs from 21 to 23 October.

Up to 100 city leaders are expected to take part in the event which will focus on tackling key global challenges at a local level, including migration, urban security and resilience, public health and harnessing high tech and innovation.

Mayor Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, who is also treasurer of the Global Parliament of Mayors, said: “It is great news that Bird, the innovative scooter sharing platform aiming to help reduce car-use in cities, is taking this opportunity to help make the GPM summit possible.

“The Global Parliament of Mayors Annual Summit is a great opportunity to demonstrate how the views and experiences of cities and city leaders are essential if we are to address national and international challenges such as migration. Cities are the places which are most affected by these issues and city leaders are on the front line of working on practical responses. If long term solutions are going to be found, the experiences of city leaders and mayors from around the world need to be listened to by international institutions.

“This summit is about finding solutions and improving lives around the world. Through the summit’s innovative parliament set-up and voting system, I am confident that we will be able to produce outcomes from this event which will need to be taken into account by our governments”.

Caroline Schep, Executive Director of GPM Secretariat said: “This year is shaping up to be our biggest and most ambitious annual summit to date. With mayors and city leaders from around the world coming together to find solutions this has the potential to create real change and will be a good opportunity for businesses and organisations to share their views on a global platform. There are still opportunities available so get in touch if you think it might be the right fit for your business.”

In a move to help reduce car use in cities, Bird’s urban, electric scooters have been growing in popularity in the US and recently launched in Paris.

Patrick Studener, Head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Bird, said: “Bristol’s unorthodox character is close to our heart as an innovator and disrupter so we are thrilled to sponsor this year’s Global Parliament of Mayors summit. The event is a chance for cities of varying sizes to learn from each other and we hope they will share Bird’s commitment to building a sustainable transport ecosystem which will help to reduce congestion, increase air quality and make cities cleaner places to live and work.”

Keynote speakers from around the world will share their experiences of working across boundaries and facilitate sessions aimed at ensuring the leaders of cities, regions and networks of cities sit alongside national leaders to shape national and international policy.

The programme will engage participants in decision-making, with panels, debates and voting on priority issues including migration and inclusion, urban security and health. Full details of the programme were launched last month.

The whole summit will also be a showcase for the best of UK industry with businesses from across the world attending providing opportunities to develop new trade and investment links.

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